Editorial: Don’t boil your best buddy in a hot car this summer

Consider how your dog feels shut up in that killing sauna

Are people finally getting the message?

We hope so.

This week, the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP issued a warning about not leaving dogs in hot cars. We wish such a thing went without saying, but every year there are cases of animals either dying, or coming close to death because their owners thoughtlessly underestimated how hot a vehicle left in the sun (or even the shade, on a hot day) can get — fast.

(Every year there are cases of children being left in hot cars, too, but that’s another column.)

Think about it. How many times have you come back to your vehicle in the summer and burnt your hands on the steering wheel? And that’s after opening the door and having to stand back out of the way of the wave of hot air that boils out, like when you open your oven door. Do you shove your key into the ignition as quickly as you can so you can get the air conditioning humming in a blessed frozen stream? When that’s not fast enough, do you hike down your car windows for the tiniest breath of relief, as you watch the heat waves undulate up off the vehicle’s hood?

So consider how your dog feels shut up in that killing sauna, unable even to sweat to cool itself (dogs don’t sweat). It’s not really a kind thing to do to take your dog out with you on a hot day. Your animal will much prefer to stay at home where it can curl up somewhere cool and wait for you to come home. No matter how mournful its eyes, you have to be the responsible adult and make the it’s-for-your-own-good decision. It will be better to endure a little whining and barking (even a howl or two) as it watches you drive away, and have it be able to joyously greet you when you get home again, because it’s still alive to do so. Better that than silent as the grave.

The RCMP detachment said they’ve had calls already this year about dogs in hot cars, but haven’t yet had to intervene.

Let’s keep it that way. Your furry best buddy is worth it.

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